HS2 continues to innovate with its construction practises, as it takes a further step towards decarbonising the sector following the completion of a world first installation of four 30-metre-deep piles on a London site through using a hydrogen dual-fuel piling rig.
The trial has come as a result of a partnership with ULEMCo and Cementation Skanska, working alongside the world-leading Business Research Establishment (BRE), with key funding for the project being provided by the BEIS Phase 1 Red Diesel Replacement competition.
This collaborative work resulted in the successful modification of a medium sized CFA piling rig, thus converting it so that the mechanical component can be operated through the use of energy converted through the on-board hydrogen tanks.
Utilising a dual-fuel system, both diesel and biofuels (HVO) can be combined with hydrogen, thus displacing the fuel with hydrogen which results in a sizeable reduction in overall fuel use and lowered CO2 emissions.
The rig was officially brought onto a London HS2 site, following the successful yard trials that simulated the technology. The performance on the live works site reflected the successful trailing, seeing it compete piling work whilst demonstrating that the dual-fuel adaptation can be applied more widely throughout the construction sector, to support overall decarbonisation in the fight to achieve net zero.
Representing one of several key initiatives that will decarbonise construction methods, the success of this trial further adds to HS2’s ambition to achieve completely diesel-free sites by 2029. Progress in this area has been promising as HS2 currently has 19 sites which operate entirely diesel free.
Speaking about the success of the dual-fuel piling rig on a HS2 site, Andrea Davidson, Head of Environmental Sciences for HS2 Ltd, said:
“HS2 is continuing to drive a positive change in the construction sector and is providing an important environment to develop the real-world use of hydrogen energy technology.
“The development of dual-fuel systems that can be used to adapt existing equipment so it can run off cleaner, low carbon energy sources, could be a game changer across the construction sector.”
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